Mental health awareness

Miss Abigail’s thought for the week:  mental health awareness

This week has been World Mental Health Awareness Week.  It is globally acknowledged that we have a generation of children who are growing up under more stress and with more anxieties and mental health disorders than ever before and, to me, this is very worrying and incredibly sad.

A child’s mental health is just as important as their physical health.  Most parents would not hesitate to seek advice or help for a physical illness or problem, but many shy away from seeking support for emotional or mental health difficulties such as anxiety, depression, behavioural difficulties, withdrawal, etc.  The only way to change this is to be able to talk about it: within families; between home and school; between families and professionals; between schools and professionals. We also need to be careful not to put too much pressure on our kids to be perfect / to conform / to grow up too quickly.

This is a nice video to watch with your kids:

The Pixar film ‘Inside Out’ is a great film to watch with children. ‘Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is a happy, hockey-loving 11-year-old Midwestern girl, but her world turns upside-down when she and her parents move to San Francisco. Riley’s emotions — led by Joy (Amy Poehler) — try to guide her through this difficult, life-changing event. However, the stress of the move brings Sadness (Phyllis Smith) to the forefront. When Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind, the only emotions left in Headquarters are Anger, Fear and Disgust.’  It makes a great conversation starter within a family about the need to acknowledge and process all our emotions, not just the ones we think others will find acceptable. This short video explains this a bit better:

It’s not just children’s mental health we have to protect.  We can’t be there for our kids if we aren’t looking after ourselves.